Sitting at a crossroads on a desolate stretch along the Bolaven Plateau, Pak Song boasts a dusty marketplace and a few newish buildings scattered around. Its primary importance is as a market centre for the numerous smaller villages in the area, and as a place for processing coffee beans grown on nearby plantations. It's surrounded by moorlands of grass and scrub dotted with occasional clumps of trees and pock-marked by bomb craters -- if you're walking around, stick to the paths.
At first there may not seem to be any reason to stop and stay here, but hang around for a while and you may start to change your mind. It's at a high elevation, and there's a cool tranquillity in the air you won't find elsewhere in the area. At the centre of town lies a football field, and much of the life of the town seems to centre around the sport in turn -- when we visited, an international tournament was under way.
Around the market in the evenings, you'll find locals whiling away the evening at one of the down-home, lao lao joints, nibbling on servings of pigs ears, pigs livers, and pigs kidney sausages. Foreigners are such a rarity, they're invariably asked to sit down and join the party. Don't worry, noodle soup is also an acceptable repast here as elsewhere in Lao.
Another good reason to stay a night or two here is to spend a day visiting the local Daoheuang Coffee Plantation, 17km away, and the local tribal village, 13.5km away.
The first left toward the town centre as you approach from Pakse leads to the market, and the second left will take you straight to the Pak Song Guesthouse. Continuing past the town centre, you'll find the Boulevan Guesthouse on the left hand side when you bare left at the fork.
At the base of the road that leads to the Pak Song Guesthouse, you'll find the Lao Development Bank (Mon-Fri 08:30 to 15:30) and the Post Office (Daily: 08:00 to 16:00)
Internet is widely available everywhere -- if you bring your own computer - and a satellite uplink. If you have neither, then the closest internet is in Pakse.
Download your Pak Song PDF guide
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Text and/or map last updated on 10th August, 2009.
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